DOI Invasive Species Coordination

The lands, waters, and facilities that the Department of the Interior (DOI) manages are vulnerable to biological invasions and can in turn become a source for invasive species introductions to public and private land.  Invasive species such as cheatgrass, quagga and zebra mussels, Asian carps, Burmese pythons, nutria, and many others, have far-reaching effects on DOI’s diverse mission and impact DOI’s ability to secure water delivery, conserve native biodiversity, protect cultural heritage, and support sustainable energy development, grazing, and timber harvesting.

Coordination and collaboration across jurisdictions are crucial to strategically stem the spread of invasive species. To that end, DOI’s Office of Policy Analysis (PPA) coordinates invasive species policy, planning, and program activities among DOI’s Bureaus and Offices. PPA leads DOI-wide invasive species initiatives, facilitates the development and implementation of DOI invasive species action plans, and coordinates the DOI’s Invasive Species Task Force, a leadership body composed of Bureau and Office representatives.  Examples of focus areas include invasive species policy, early detection and rapid response, database interoperability, performance indicators, joint budget proposals, and communications. In addition, PPA is DOI’s point-of-contact for issues and questions related to invasive species and serves as a liaison to the National Invasive Species Council.

PPA also leads DOI-wide invasive species initiatives requested by the Administration or by Congress. For example, PPA:

  • Developed a DOI-wide Invasive Species Strategic Plan, pursuant to the John D. Dingell Jr., Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (Public Law 116-9), to provide a coordinated approach to further align programs and policies across DOI and leverage resources to manage invasive species (2020).
  • Developed the DOI Invasive Species Policy, a Chapter in the Department Manual, that directs Bureaus and Offices to manage the risk of invasive species in their activities, and minimize that risk where applicable and practicable, in cooperation with others as appropriate.
  • Supported the Office of the Secretary to identify and implement actions that would strengthen efforts to prevent, contain, and control invasive quagga and zebra mussels in western waters, as described in the final report, Safeguarding the West from Invasive Species: Actions to Strengthen Federal, State, and Tribal Coordination to Address Invasive Mussels (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020). 
  • Explored opportunities to streamline invasive species management through development of categorical exclusions for certain activities to control or eradicate invasive species, in consultation with the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance and DOI Bureaus and Offices.
  • Identified ways in which DOI and State agencies and other partners can cooperate to eliminate the early occurrences of invasive species that would otherwise cause significant ecological and economic damage. Efforts relate to an interdepartmental report PPA co-developed, Safeguarding America’s Lands and Waters from Invasive Species: A National Framework for Early Detection and Rapid Response (U.S. Department of the Interior, 2016). 

For cross-cutting invasive species issues, the Office of Policy Analysis coordinates through its DOI Invasive Species Task Force—a leadership body composed of Bureau and Office representatives—to be as strategic and effective as possible. The Task Force advances priorities in the DOI Invasive Species Strategic Plan. This includes developing DOI-wide informational resources such as DOI Invasive Species Training Opportunities and DOI Invasive Species Funding Opportunities (coming soon!)

As part of its coordination responsibilities, PPA supports the Office of Budget in its budget formulation process for invasive species activities across Bureaus. This coordination helps to link budget requests and leverage funding across Bureaus on high priority issues. DOI produces a cross-cut budget for invasive species each year that shows investments across strategies and Bureaus.

Additional information about DOI Bureau and Office invasive species responsibilities

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